2016 has been an eventful year. (This is, perhaps, an understatement.) It’s brought with it monumental changes, notable milestones, new research, gains, and losses of all kinds. One day, people will look back at 2016 and perhaps believe that it captured the zeitgeist of our era, pointing to it as a critical point in the 2010s—whatever that will come to mean.
The year has also brought us a nonfiction book treasure trove. In reviewing bestselling books published over the past 12 months, I wondered which top books might contain the most valuable lessons for remote workers.
7 of the Top Books of 2016 for Remote Workers
Invisible Influence by Jonah Berger
Every wondered if you’re actually making an impression on your boss, or an impact on your team? Enter the concept of invisible influence.
With Berger’s help, we’re able to more deeply examine our actions and shape the ways in which we’re viewed as remote workers, leading to a stronger rapport with our colleagues—ultimately increasing our chances for success at work.
The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time by Arianna Huffington
We remote workers are truly fortunate to be able to bypass an early morning commute. (Or any commute.) Although a specific study has yet to be conducted, it’s likely that those who work from home are able to get much more rest compared to those who work in offices.
Just how important is sleep? Huffington touches upon on-the-job flexibility, noting that aside from the many health benefits, a good night’s rest increases one’s focus, productivity and performance.
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
Few of us would self-identify as conformists. Yet are we truly original? For example, what does your browser choice say about your leanings toward innovation? If you haven’t a clue, then this book is worth reading.
Grant offers real-world stories and surprising insights that will shed light on motivation and drive, including research that underscores why procrastination often leads to the most creative, productive results. It’s time to leave mediocre work behind; this book provides a motivational springboard.
The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy by Chris Bailey
Speaking of sleep, Chris Bailey’s yearlong productivity experiment yielded some interesting findings; most notably, that striving for imperfection and scheduling less time for important tasks are key to staying on track.
Self-discipline figures prominently, but is highlighted in an unexpected context. For someone who isn’t a morning person, the thought of enduring 5:30 a.m. wake-ups over three consecutive months for the sake of research made this worth picking up just to see how he accomplished it.
Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett
Described as “part manual, part manifesto,” Bennett takes on external factors (sexism) and internal factors (self-sabotaging behaviors) in an illustrative look at the multifaceted challenges women face at work.
Feminist Fight Club champions the unsung heroes who regularly battle subtle office sexism and discrimination with aplomb, and with whom many distributed employees can also likely identify. Fresh, funny, and full of advice for navigating team dynamics, this book–one of the Buffer team’s book club picks–belongs on your reading list regardless of gender.
Unsubscribe: How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distractions, and Get Real Work Done by Jocelyn K. Glei
We all know that email is a colossal timesuck, yet few of us do anything about it. (The average worker checks email 77 times a day!)
Those who feel dominated by an unwieldy inbox will find guidance in this tome, which espouses best practices for cutting down on email clutter, sending clearer messages and establishing boundaries so that email remains what it’s supposed to be: a supporting tool.
Disrupted: My Adventure in the Startup Bubble by Dan Lyons
This wild ride of a book will have you questioning your entrepreneurial dreams in a heartbeat. With wry wit and timely wisdom, Lyons offers a behind-the-scenes view of life as a 50-something at a fast-paced ‘rocketship,’ which seems to have little direction at its helm.
Those who have experienced over-the-top startup cultures will ruefully enjoy this.